Beat the heat in western N.C.

If you're tired of the heat in the Lowcountry, western North Carolina is the place to be - Asheville, Brevard, and Flat Rock. Several members of Sun City's On the Go Travel Club made the trip earlier this summer and loved it.

In Asheville, the Biltmore House is always worthy of a visit. The mansion looks completely different in summer than it does in December during a candlelight tour, and the views of the colorful gardens and Blue Ridge Mountains are breathtaking.

Frederick Law Olmsted designed the Biltmore gardens to offer a beautiful view from every angle. The lovely Italian and south gardens can be seen from the house while the walled, rose and summer flower gardens are a short stroll away.

Through Oct. 23, 42 exquisite Tiffany lamps are on display at the Biltmore house, and a 40-foot dragonfly has been added to the summer garden, along with a 24-foot wall of flowers that looks like stained glass.

Antler Hill Village, which also includes the Biltmore Winery, sits at the foot of the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate, a place I highly recommend. The Village is lively with shops, music and places to eat. Among them is Cedric's which has a great atmosphere, good food and is moderately priced.

Thirty minutes down the road is Brevard where waterfalls abound. Nearby is Flat Rock where Carl Sandburg, Pulitzer Prize winner, and his wife lived. On their estate, Connemara, Mrs. Sandburg raised goats and several of the offspring are still in the goat barn. Sun City residents enjoyed visiting this interesting farm.

Scottie Davis is presently exploring western NC. She will be taking a motor coach trip to The Biltmore for Christmas Dec. 8-9, 2011. Info or call 843-681-1900.